English Vocabulary – Five Pairs of Commonly Confused English Words
1. Beside vs Besides
Beside (preposition): next to or at the side of someone or something
The girl standing beside Tom is Mary.
Besides (preposition): in addition to/apart from someone or something
Besides working as a teacher, she also writes freelance for a fashion magazine.
2. Principle vs Principal
Principle (noun; usually plural): a moral rule or a strong belief that influences your actions
Lucy will not lie as she has high moral principles.
Principle (noun): a law, a rule or a theory that something is based on
The syllabus covers basic principles of accounting.
Principal (adjective): most important; main
Tourist revenue is the country’s principal source of wealth.
Principal (noun): the person who is in charge of a school
John is the principal of Hillview High School.
3. Compliment vs Complement
Compliment (noun): a remark that expresses praise or admiration of someone
It is a great compliment to be asked to be the guest-of-honour.
Compliments (noun; plural): polite words or good wishes, especially when used to express praise and admiration
Please give my compliments to the wonderful chef.
Compliment (verb): to tell someone that you like or admire something he/she has done, etc.
He complimented Betsy on her new hairstyle.
Complement (verb): to add to something in a way that improves it or makes it more attractive
The excellent menu is complemented by a good wine list.
4. Access vs Assess
Access (noun): a way of entering or reaching a place
The burglars gained access through a broken window.
Access (verb): reach, enter or use something
This room can only be accessed by authorised personnel.
Assess (verb): to make a judgement about the nature or quality of someone/something
The government will assess how well the new system works.
5. Emigrate vs Immigrate
Emigrate (verb): to leave your own country to go and live permanently in another country
The family left India in 1975 and emigrated to the United States.
Immigrate (verb): to come and live permanently in a country after leaving your own country
About 6.6 million people immigrated to the United States in the 1970s.
Sponge ME, English Tuition (Singapore)